Maha'ulepu v. Land Use Com'n, No. 13764

CourtSupreme Court of Hawai'i
Writing for the CourtBefore LUM, C.J., PADGETT, HAYASHI and WAKATSUKI, JJ., and NAKAMURA, Retired Justice, in Place of MOON; LUM
Citation790 P.2d 906,71 Haw. 332
PartiesMalama MAHA'ULEPU, Intervenor-Appellant, v. LAND USE COMMISSION, State of Hawaii, Planning Commission, County of Kauai, Ainako Resort Associates, Grove Farm Properties, Inc., and Planning Department, County of Kauai, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date09 April 1990
Docket NumberNo. 13764

Page 906

790 P.2d 906
71 Haw. 332
Malama MAHA'ULEPU, Intervenor-Appellant,
v.
LAND USE COMMISSION, State of Hawaii, Planning Commission,
County of Kauai, Ainako Resort Associates, Grove
Farm Properties, Inc., and Planning
Department, County of Kauai,
Defendants-Appellees.
No. 13764.
Supreme Court of Hawai'i.
April 9, 1990.
Syllabus by the Court

1. Ordinarily, deference will be accorded a decision of an administrative agency acting within the realm of its expertise, and review of a special permit approval is limited to discerning whether the

Page 907

agency committed an error of law or abused its discretion.

2. The State Land Use Commission is not authorized to issue a special permit for a use within an agricultural district unless the proposed use is permissible under Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 205.

3. HRS §§ 205-4.5(b) and 205-6 provide authority for the issuance of a special use permit for a golf course use on agricultural land with soil classified as Overall Productivity Rating Class A or B, provided [71 Haw. 333] the use is "unusual and reasonable" and promotes the objectives of HRS Chapter 205.

4. Interpreting HRS § 205-2 (1985) as an implied repeal of authority to grant a special use permit for the construction of a golf course on agricultural land with soil classified as Overall Productivity Rating Class A or B would bring that section into conflict with HRS § 205-4.5(b), which allows such permits provided the use is "unusual and reasonable" under HRS § 205-6.

5. Repeals by implication are not favored, and if effect can reasonably be given to two statutes, it is presumed that the earlier statute did not repeal the later.

6. The legislative history of the amendment to HRS § 205-2, Act 298 (1985), does not yield evidence that the legislature intended to repeal the authority for a special use permit for a golf course on A or B rated land. Because Act 298 merely reiterated the provisions of HRS § 205-4.5, which authorized such permits, HRS § 205-2 as amended cannot be construed to intend a prohibition on such permits.

7. Deference is accorded an administrative agency's interpretation of its own procedural rules unless a decision is clearly erroneous or inconsistent with the underlying legislative purpose.

[71 Haw. 340] Stephen Levine, Lihue, for appellant Malama Maha'Ulepu.

David L. Callies (Dennis M. Lombardi and David Allan Feller, of counsel, Case & Lynch, and Bruce L. Lamon and Carol A. Eblen, of counsel, Goodsill, Anderson, Quinn & Stifel, with him on the brief), Honolulu, for appellees Ainako Resort Associates and Grove Farm Properties, Inc.

Benjamin M. Matsubara and Edsel M. Yamada, of counsel, Matsubara, Lee & Kotake, on the briefs, Honolulu, for appellee State Land Use Comm'n.

Michael J. Belles, County Atty., and Peter M. Wilkens, Deputy County Atty., and Max W.J. Graham, Jr. and Lorna A. Nishimitsu, Sp. Counsel, on the briefs, Lihue, for appellees Planning Comm'n and Planning Dept.

Before [71 Haw. 332] LUM, C.J., PADGETT, HAYASHI and WAKATSUKI, JJ., and NAKAMURA, Retired Justice, in Place of MOON, J., Recused.

LUM, Chief Justice.

Appellant Malama Maha'ulepu (Malama), an unincorporated association, challenges a Land Use Commission decision affirming the grant of a special use permit for the construction of a golf course on prime agricultural land in Poipu, Kauai. The question raised in this appeal is whether the provisions of Chapter 205, [71 Haw. 334] Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) prohibit the county planning commissions and the State Land Use Commission from issuing special use permits for golf courses on prime agricultural lands classified by the Land Study Bureau as Productivity Rating Class A or B. We hold that Chapter 205 does provide the authority for such permits, and we affirm.

I.

In April 1988, Appellees Ainako Resort Associates and Grove Farm Properties (Ainako) petitioned the Kauai County Planning Commission (KPC) for a special use permit to construct a 210-acre golf course on land zoned for agricultural use and classified by the Land Study Bureau's Detailed Land Classification as Overall (Master) Productivity Rating Class B. 1

Page 908

After the KPC announced public hearings, Malama petitioned to intervene in opposition to the permit. The petition stated that members of Malama used the land and adjacent coastal areas. Malama alleged that construction of the golf course would have negative environmental, ecological and aesthetic consequences. The KPC granted the petition to intervene on May 25, 1988.

The KPC held several public hearings on the special permit application between May and August of 1988, and approved the special use permit on August 11, 1988.

HRS § 205-6 (1985) and Hawaii State Land Use Commission (LUC) Rule 15-15-95 require automatic review by the LUC of a special permit granted for a parcel of land greater than 15 acres. The LUC reviews the special permit based upon the record [71 Haw. 335] developed in the planning commission proceeding and upon the memoranda and arguments before the LUC. Pursuant to these provisions, the KPC forwarded the record to the LUC. 2

The LUC permitted Malama to appear as a party to oppose the permit. The LUC heard oral arguments on the permit on September 29, 1988. The commission approved the permit, issuing its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Decision and Order on November 23, 1988.

Malama filed...

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14 practice notes
  • Director v. KIEWIT, No. 24226.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Hawai'i
    • January 8, 2004
    ...prior decisions contrarily suggest that agency interpretations of statutes are reviewed de novo. See, e.g., Maha'ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 336, 790 P.2d 906, 908 (1990); In re Maldonado, 67 Haw. 347, 351, 687 P.2d 1, 4 (1984). We reconcile this apparent disparity in the present......
  • In re Water Use Permit Applications, No. 21309.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • August 22, 2000
    ...the ambiguity of the rule and the deference owed to agency readings of their own regulations, see, e.g., Maha`ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 339, 790 9 P.3d 464 P.2d 906, 910 (1990), we cannot say that the Commission erred in its We also observe that, while one of the hallmarks of r......
  • Haw.I Gov't EMPLOYEES Ass'n v. LINGLE, No. 29972.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • September 8, 2010
    ...will be given to decisions of administrative agencies acting within the realm of their expertise [,]” Maha‘ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 335, 790 P.2d 906, 908 (1990) (citation omitted), such deference does not extend to matters over which the agencies do not have jurisdiction. As ......
  • Paul v. Department of Transp., State, No. 27238.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • September 24, 2007
    ...168 P.3d 554 (Citing, inter alia, State v. Batson, 99 Hawai`i 118, 120, 53 P.3d 257, 259 (2002); Maha`ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 339, 790 P.2d 906, 910 (1990).) It further alleged that, assuming arguendo that Rule 40 allowed for purely visual inspection of components, forty of t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Director v. KIEWIT, No. 24226.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Hawai'i
    • January 8, 2004
    ...prior decisions contrarily suggest that agency interpretations of statutes are reviewed de novo. See, e.g., Maha'ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 336, 790 P.2d 906, 908 (1990); In re Maldonado, 67 Haw. 347, 351, 687 P.2d 1, 4 (1984). We reconcile this apparent disparity in the present......
  • In re Water Use Permit Applications, No. 21309.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • August 22, 2000
    ...the ambiguity of the rule and the deference owed to agency readings of their own regulations, see, e.g., Maha`ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 339, 790 9 P.3d 464 P.2d 906, 910 (1990), we cannot say that the Commission erred in its We also observe that, while one of the hallmarks of r......
  • Haw.I Gov't EMPLOYEES Ass'n v. LINGLE, No. 29972.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • September 8, 2010
    ...will be given to decisions of administrative agencies acting within the realm of their expertise [,]” Maha‘ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 335, 790 P.2d 906, 908 (1990) (citation omitted), such deference does not extend to matters over which the agencies do not have jurisdiction. As ......
  • Paul v. Department of Transp., State, No. 27238.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • September 24, 2007
    ...168 P.3d 554 (Citing, inter alia, State v. Batson, 99 Hawai`i 118, 120, 53 P.3d 257, 259 (2002); Maha`ulepu v. Land Use Comm'n, 71 Haw. 332, 339, 790 P.2d 906, 910 (1990).) It further alleged that, assuming arguendo that Rule 40 allowed for purely visual inspection of components, forty of t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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